What is a landing page?
If you’re asking that question, you came to the right place. And you’re not alone.
While the term “landing page” gets thrown around a lot in online marketing, not many people really know what it means — much less how it differs from a website or homepage, or even why landing pages are necessary.
At Constant Contact, landing pages are a built-in feature of the online marketing platform. But it doesn’t help if you don’t know what they are, how they work, and how you should use them.
Let’s remedy that so you can start creating landing pages that will gain you more leads, more contacts, more donations, and more sales — more easily.
What is a landing page and how does it work?
Let’s start at the beginning.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a single web page created for one specific purpose as part of an online marketing campaign. It’s where users “land” after they click on an ad, an email button, or a link in a social post.
How does a landing page work?
I think of it like this: If you’re jumping down a step, you jump off the step you’re on, and land on the next step down, right? So, a link is where your reader jumps off of where they are online (i.e. a Facebook page or ad, an email link, etc.) and they “land” on your landing page.
Landing pages are simple and focused on a single call to action (CTA), such as signing up for an email newsletter or donating to a nonprofit campaign.
Is a landing page the same thing as a homepage?
No. Every web page has a specific purpose.
A homepage is where you let your visitors know exactly what your business is and what it does.
An About page is where you give more details about your company, how you got started, and why your company/nonprofit is the best fit for them.
A Contact page is just that. It lets your visitor know where you are, what your hours are and how they can contact you.
All of these pages are part of your overall website. And there are multiple ways a visitor can get to these pages; e.g. via a web search, following a link from another web page, or through a direct link. So, yes, a visitor to a site can “land” on any of those pages — which is why a homepage is often misused as a landing page.
However, a landing page is only accessed through a direct link, is often temporary, and can be changed or updated frequently. Most importantly, a landing page has only one goal: to convert. (And I don’t mean in a religious way.)
In the online marketing world, a conversion is a signup, a purchase, a registration, a donation, etc. It’s when someone completes whatever action you are hoping they’ll take as part of your campaign.
Landing pages are essential to getting people to take desired actions in your marketing campaign.
What is a landing page used for?
Generally, there are two types of landing pages. Lead generation and click-through.
Lead generation landing pages help you gain more leads and new contacts. They’re super easy to set up and are one of the first things we recommend when you want to get more subscribers to your email.
Besides capturing new sign-ups for your newsletter and generating leads, landing pages are great for a lot of things. That’s where click-through landing pages come in.
Click-through landing pages are highly-focused sources of information.
What I mean by that is that these types of landing pages are for providing detailed information to your audience, on a single subject, with the goal of enticing them to take a specific action.
My favorite type of click-through landing page is for events.
But there are a lot of other great reasons to create landing pages, the goal with a click-through landing page is always the same — to provide information so the reader will take the desired action — click the call to action (CTA) button.
What makes a good landing page?
What makes a good landing page can vary from business to business and of course, from one purpose to another. However, there are some fundamental elements that must go into a landing page to make it effective.
There are a lot of landing pages out there, but the best keep in mind that they only require three parts:
- A great headline
- Solid, persuasive information
- A highly-visible CTA button
This is how to maximize their effectiveness:
1. Be mobile-friendly
If your audience can’t see your entire landing page on their mobile device, they’re not going to bother to read it. Period.
2. Catch attention
Whether you want to make a sale, garner a lead, or get new subscribers, your headline has to capture attention and let visitors know what you want them to do — right away.
3. Be matchy-matchy
Always match your landing page with its source.
Not all offers are the same, nor are all audiences the same.
Facebook users are not the same as TikTokers, so make sure you customize your landing page to match both the ad that led people to it and the audience.
4. Make it short and sweet
The most effective landing pages keep all the important information above the fold.
From your headline to your CTA, visitors should see it all without having to scroll down.
5. Be obvious
When looking at your landing page, in the blink of an eye, your visitor should know exactly what you want them to do.
6. Stay clean
Whether you want people to donate, make a purchase, or download a white paper, don’t muddy the message with any other options.
This means no navigation bars, links to testimonials, or other distracting information or links.
7. Be trustworthy
Regardless of your goal, no one is going to click on a CTA button if they don’t trust that nothing bad will happen.
To make sure your visitors know you’re trustworthy, you can use some of the following:
- Social proof
- Privacy policies
- Trust seals
These are best placed below the fold — aka the bottom of your landing page — where they won’t distract from the main focus but will add a sense of security and reassurance.
8. Be testy
With your landing page, not your visitors.
Testing is how you improve, so don’t skip this part of the equation.
It’s important that before you launch a landing page you test it out — on yourself, as well as a friend or colleague. Ask: “Did I know, right away, what it wants me to do?” And, “Would I do it?”
If the answer isn’t emphatically “YES!” to both questions, then it’s time to do some revision.
Keep testing and revising until you have the right answers from everyone who looks at it. Then launch!
Once you’ve launched your landing page, periodically check your data to see how it’s performing.
Check to see if you have a high conversion rate. In other words, are the people who go to your landing page actually doing what you hoped they would. If you’re happy with the results, let it ride, if not, think about conducting some A/B testing to see if you can do better.
Another thing to check is if your ads are getting people to your landing page. And although ads are a whole separate subject, you can’t have a successful landing page without a successful ad.
How do I create a custom landing page?
There are three ways to create a custom landing page.
- Learn to code.
- Hire someone to code one for you.
- Customize a template in a landing page builder.
Hint: Number three is the fastest and easiest way to build a landing page.
What is a landing page template?
Landing page templates are basically like email templates.
You can use a landing page template as your base, or foundation, for creating your landing page using a landing page builder like the one built into Constant Contact.
Landing page templates and builders make it easy for you to create, customize, and launch your pages in no time.
A landing page template gives you a starting point. All you have to do is customize it. No coding necessary.
What landing pages should I create first?
Your first landing page should always be the one you use to capture new sign-ups and generate new leads.
Once you’ve created your sign-up page, use your social media outlets to point people to it. And start growing your contact list. After that, sit down with a pen and paper (if you’re old fashioned — your digital notebook of choice if you’re not), and brainstorm about what other landing pages you might want to create. Then incorporate these into your marketing calendar to help you plan your next campaign!
Log in or start a free trial and see how you can grow your business with customizable landing pages.